The end of the year rapidly approaches, which means an arbitrary milestone to take an introspective look at your life, and see if your trajectory matches your desires.
Or, in other words — how was 2016?
Let’s see what I said a year ago, and see if I succeeded:
1) Work – Either succeed or fail, decisively.
I failed, decisively. But that is not about work performance. It is about my health. More details below, but I will be switching jobs at some point. Not necessarily employers… I like my employer. Just need a new role.
I am counting this as a success, though. I’ve been an in-the-trenches technologist for a long, long time. I have other skills that can be applied to my work, too. I’ve built and led teams, I’ve designed products, I’ve done platform transitions… I’m not sure exactly what direction things will head in 2017, but it is past time for a positive change.
2) Health – I want to get to the point that I can exercise again. I want 2016 to end with me able to go on hikes, and be at least smaller than as I was when I left my last full-time office job.
Partial credit here. I am exercising daily. I can hike. I am not smaller than I was when I left my office job. But I am SO much stronger than I was a year ago.
I did hit a new problem this year, where my tendons in my wrist are giving me problems, and I really cannot work at a computer all day, at least not as a coder. I can work still in tech, but the constant reaching for all keys on the keyboard, especially the special characters used so much in coding, is not working for me. As mentioned above, change is coming, one way or another. I will need to find a role that only has me typing a couple hours a day, not 8+. Or typing content, not code. Or something. I’m open.
3) Creativity – Painting, drawing, photography, writing.
I really only did the drawing this year, but I did put together some new ways to merge my tech skills with drawing and photography. It took me months to tweak all the details, but I’m calling this goal as a success despite not actually doing exactly the crafts I was thinking about a year ago, because I am producing creative work.
4) Farm – Simple goals – get irrigation systems in for all garden boxes and fruit trees, keep the gardens weeded and watered, and have a non-trivial produce harvest in addition to our current production.
Irrigation… Check! Gardens weeded and watered… Check! Non-trivial harvest… No. Well, at least aside from tomatoes, No. We got heaps of tomatoes. But due to half the year being spent with a wife recovering from injuries, we didn’t hit our farm goals this year. I’m not worried about it either, though. We had bigger fish to fry.
5) Family – Simply have a happier and healthier family at the end of 2016 than we do at the end of 2015.
Sadly, no. My health isn’t better, my wife is far more broken than she was last year. And those things don’t make for a good family year. But part of this yearly exercise is just about self-awareness, so I can fix problems over the long haul. So lets try this goal again for 2017
Moving on, I’ll lay out my goals for 2017 with the exact same categories, but new details:
- Work — I want to start a new job. Preferably with my current employer, but either way, a new job. Not coding. Probably still in tech though, because it is what I know.
- Health — I either want a diagnosis of what has been ailing me for the past 5 years, or to give up and just commit to living with the problems. I want to continue the daily exercise that I have finally achieved this year, and end the year having lost at least 20 pounds.
- Creativity — I want to continue to pursue the new ideas I’ve come up with for merging drawing, photography, and tech. (About which I may write more in the future.) Because it is a new project, I’m not going to define specific goals… just to work it and see where it goes.
- Farm — Get our dairy and eggs back into production in the spring. Produce more value in food than we spend. Note: we tentatively have someone else working larger scale gardens on our land this year, and sharing the harvest with us. This should help with making this hobby farm thing a success.
- Family — Repeat from last year. Lets end 2017 happier and healthier than in 2016.